3 Ways You Are Stressing Your Dog Out
Let’s find out the 3 Ways You Are Stressing Your Dog Out:
1. Labeling your dog as “dominant.”
Dominance is not a personality trait; it’s a situation – specific behavior. True dominance aggression issues are extremely rare. Behaviors commonly considered a sign of dominance, such as humping, frequently stem from insecurity or hyperexcitability. In addition, pet owners who label their dogs as dominant often feel more justified using harsh training methods, such as alpha rolls and prong collars. However, these tactics do little to encourage long-term behavior change and can foster a fear of the pet owner.
2. Assuming your dog behaves badly by choice
Your dog behaves the way he does, because a behavior is natural to him or is being reinforced by your response. To base his actions on choice, your dog would have to share your view of right and wrong and use that shared moral code to guide his behavior. Dogs don’t function that way; they are motivated by outcomes not morals. That guilty behavior your dog exhibits when he does something you think of as bad? It’s a reaction to your response and has nothing to do with repentance. He’s just trying to appease his unhappy human.
3. Being too lax
Unstructured interactions with your dog open the door for behavioral problems. Without clear boundaries, behavior can quickly get out of control; this can lead to confusion and anxiety for your dog when he is punished for behavior that is sometimes tolerated. Unfortunately, in many situations, a dog’s go-to response, such as jumping up to greet or mouthing a person’s arm to get attention, is not necessarily acceptable to humans. Clearly expressing your expectations about acceptable behavior is more likely to result in consistent good behavior.
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